Port Chester Schools, Village Hope To Slow Down Overcrowding

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Port Chester schools are looking to cut down on increasing student enrollment.
Port Chester schools are looking to cut down on increasing student enrollment. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue/File photo

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester school and village officials are looking at ways that they can slow down overcrowding in the schools.

The Board of Education has passed a resolution, discouraging the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook from developing any large-scale residential projects that would lead to increases in school enrollment. This includes the proposed Starwood development at the United Hospital site, which could bring in as many as 800 units, as well as potential future developments. The village is also looking at ways to tackle the issue.

"This problem must be attacked intelligently, and it must consist of a number of strategies," said Port Chester Mayor Neil Pagano. He said that the problem is beginning to be addressed through school residency investigations and the village's increased code enforcement. But he said that the village should not discourage residential housing altogether.

"Unless the village encourages smart development, it will not be able to survive. We must have new tax dollars coming in to our respective budgets, we must relieve the burden on our taxpayers, but we must also put into place those safeguard measures that don't unravel the positive side of the ledger."

Pagano said that the village and school district have worked together on possible mitigation strategies, and that the village has sent out a request for proposals for a tipping study that would explore mitigation strategies. These strategies would look at enrollment data and development needs in the village. The hope is that it would encourage mixed-use development in the village, as well as devise formulas so that any development would offset the cost of any increase in school enrollment.

Board of Education member Carolee Brakewood said that increases in assessable properties may bring in additional revenue, but they will not offset costs for the schools.

"The increase in assessables rarely even covers the variable incremental cost of things like hiring additional teachers and staff and buying additional equipment and supplies," she said.

"This next budget period, we're going to have a real issue," said Board of Education President Anne Capeci. "As a Board of Education that has to educate every child in the village, and we're now overcrowded, we're discouraging housing projects."

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Comments (5)

The Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that all children, no matter their immigration status, have the right to attend a US public school. We should work to naturalize these hard working people who, much like our ancestors, have come to America seeking a better life for them, and their families. Keep in mind, unless you are of Native American heritage your family came from another country.

The issue is overcrowding not undocumented immigrants. I think you be surprised of the percentage of undocumented residents are probably in the single digits. PC has unfortunately been the breeding ground for unsafe and illegal rental occupancy. This is unfortunate because there are many landlords who do abide by the laws and follow safety standards. The efforts need to be centered around illegal housing with single and multifamily dwellings that are being used in a "overcrowding" or other situation and manor not intended

Certain adults with selfish agendas like to use innocent children to cloud issues that are crystal clear to most fair-minded people. The issue that's crystal clear to most fair-minded people is immigration in any country needs to be regulated, just as it is in Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and just about every country around the world -- with the exception of the US. Anyone who wants residency and citizenship in the US should go through a criminal background and health check, which would undoubtedly screen out some dangerous and sickly individuals, just as it did in the second half of the 19th century in the US and continued to do until recent years. It seems you appear to be okay with letting anyone in -- as long as they bring along some children or have them on US soil. My ancestors came to the US the legal way. There's a huge difference between the kind of naturalization you support and the process my ancestors followed. By the way, I might choose to move to Ecuador or Panama someday, since the people there are friendly, the climate suits me and the cost of living is very reasonable. If I do move to another country, I fully expect to fill out a lot of paperwork, prove that I'm not a criminal, prove that I'm not carrying a contagious disease and prove that I have the means to support myself. You seem to want people who essentially broke into the US or overstayed their visas to be automatically naturalized -- and you use their having children as an excuse to do so. How sad and how twisted.

If you're a property owner in Port Chester, you can vote with your feet by selling your property and say good-bye to the off the charts school taxes. Voting at the ballot box has no effect. The teachers will get their raises like clockwork, regardless of their performance, and the village leaders will continue to allow the building of large-scale residential housing. Isn't it amazing? It looks like the village board of trustees has decided to support the building of 800 units by Starwood, according to the reporter. That is the opposite of what the majority of people wanted and the village leaders are well aware of that fact. Nice going Port Chester politicians. It seems the people you claim to represent have once again been taken to the cleaners. So what's the take-away from all of this? In my opinion, it's to recognize the fact that sometimes the grass is greener elsewhere, and that it's time to move to a community that treats its property-owning taxpayers with decency instead of contempt.